Road Ahead

Eminem-Chrysler Spot Lights Up Blogosphere

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[caption id="attachment_71" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Chrysler 200 glistens beneath Fox Theater marquis in Detroit ad."]Chrysler 200 glistens beneath Fox Theater marquis in Detroit ad.[/caption]

Super Bowl ads provide tons of fodder for blogs, so I knew Chrysler’s emotional fist-pump of a commercial for the new 200 sedan would generate traffic. I had no idea how much.

The first blog I visited, NFL Fanhouse, gave me all the evidence I needed. The website neatly packaged the TV commercials aired during the Super Bowl and allows viewers to comment on each ad individually.

Some commercials drew no responses at all, many got fewer than 10 and six ads garnered more than 50 comments. Only two automotive spots generated much dialogue, including VW’s clever Darth Vader ad for the new Passat, which pulled 166 comments.

But rapper Eminem’s Chrysler ad far and away stirred up the NFL’s blog site like none other. As of this week, 489 people had commented – most of them positive. Here’s a sample:

  • “This hands down has to be the best commercial for this year’s Super Bowl. It was filled with the emotion of a fallen city from an economical point of view, a fallen industry, but it exploded with the pride of the comeback this city and country are now experiencing. Eminem brought it home and should be commended.”
  • “Moving, emotional, gripping, inspirational. I want Detroit to kick some ASS!”
  • “If ‘pride’ is a sin, then I am truly condemned with this coursing through my veins for the city I love. I did not care that this commercial had any specific brand of car in it. I was not left with feelings of neglect towards all other issues we face as a city. I only noticed the message. Not one of hope, but one as a statement of our spirit. Yes, there are those who say Detroit is dead, but without death, there is no life and no rebirth.”

And some of the feedback, understandably, was not so upbeat:

  • “Keep Detroit beautiful? Doesn't it have to be beautiful first?”

    “How about you prove it before you open your mouth, Detroit. America has had enough hype.”

  • “Detroit did not build America ... it failed it.”

Bloggers on the NFL site also liked the VW Darth Vader spot. But inevitably, even dialogue specific to that ad meandered back to the Chrysler commercial:

  • “I felt the most impressive ad, although not the most creative, was the Detroit-Chrysler ad. Made me feel good about the city and the industry built there, and the car was beautiful.”

We won’t know until month’s end if sales of the 200 got a boost from the “Imported from Detroit” commercial. But more than 120 million sets of eyes have seen it, and it left a lasting impression.

Should a company still paying back its government loans spend a reported $9 million on a 2-minute Super Bowl ad? Maybe not. But Chrysler brand President and CEO Olivier Francois says reaching that many viewers with other forms of advertising would have cost much more.

Whether Chrysler can repeat with a high-impact commercial during the next Super Bowl depends on the creative process and whether the next idea has merit, Francois says.

Since the commercial aired, interest in the 200 has skyrocketed, which has dealers scurrying to get more vehicles from the plant in Sterling Heights, MI. “They’ve all been ordering more cars,” Francois says of Chrysler dealers.

For many Detroiters, nearly two weeks later, the Eminem ad still generates buzz. But not for this guy, on the NFL blog.

“The Super Bowl has been over for a week. Why not remove this site?”

Attention spans aren’t what they used to be.

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Drew Winter

Drew Winter is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto World magazine and a Senior Editor at WardsAuto.com. He was won numerous awards for his work in both print and digital media and has been...

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is executive editor of WardsAuto World magazine, with an emphasis on technology and suppliers. He leads selection of the Ward’s 10 Best Engines and Ward’s 10 Best Interiors...
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